SA Satyam staff killed in crash

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Two South African employees of Satyam, the big-four Indian IT company, were killed on Friday night in a head-on collision with a truck near Hyderabad, in the centre of the country. A third was seriously injured.

The three were part of a group of 29 Satyam graduate recruits undergoing an entry-level training programme in the city. The group is four months into their year-long training programme.

A group of South African journalists, including an ITWeb reporter, was introduced to the trainees a fortnight ago. At the time, SA's High Commissioner to India, Francis Moloi, praised the initiative as a major boost in the country's battle to bolster its IT skills levels.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has identified the deceased as Thabang Jacobs and Bohle Goniwe. The third employee, Eric Mokoena, remains in a critical condition in an intensive care unit at a hospital in the city.

Satyam is on a recruiting drive in SA and is expanding its local business, established in 2005.

Country manager Chittaranjan Jena says he has already visited the families of the deceased and Mokoena. "We are all shocked at this tragic incident and pray for Eric's recovery and the departed souls," he adds.

Foreign Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has also expressed the government's shock and sadness. "The thoughts and prayers of the government reach out to the families of the two students who passed away," she says. "Accordingly, the government extends its heartfelt condolences to members of the bereaved families, while wishing a speedy recovery to the student admitted to the Hyderabad City hospital."

Ronnie Mamoepa, Dlamini-Zuma's spokesman, says Moloi is currently in Hyderabad. He has visited Mokoena in hospital and addressed the employees. Mamoepa says Moloi is arranging for the repatriation of the remains.

Jena says it is likely the remains will be flown home tomorrow.

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